Is it a shark? Is it a dolphin? Drones will help us discover out

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Is it a shark? Is it a dolphin? Drones can help us find out


Researchers from Southern Cross College in Australia have spent the final three years utilizing drones to check simply how frequent public encounters with sharks are.

For many who’ve ever skilled swimming within the sea and noticed a dorsal fin or darkish form gliding previous, understanding whether or not it’s a dolphin or shark is of important significance. If it’s a dolphin, you’ll in all probability really feel such as you’re having a profound, superb expertise. If it’s a shark, you’ll seemingly lose your shit and battle for expensive life to get out of the water as quickly as potential.

To conduct their examine, the group spent two years flying frequently drone patrol over seashores in New South Wales. They then reviewed the intensive footage they captured and counted the variety of sharks and dolphins they noticed.

The outcomes?

Over the prolonged interval of commentary, the researchers famous 4100 encounters with massive marine animals. Lead researcher of the examine, Professor Brendan Kelaher mentioned: “Our seashores present habitat for superb marine animals together with dolphins, sharks, rays, turtles, seabirds, sport fish and the occasional whale.”

The group’s examine concluded that it was 135 occasions extra seemingly for an individual to come across a dolphin than a shark on the New South Wales seashores they noticed.

“We do see probably harmful sharks within the shallows, however our knowledge present they’re much much less widespread than individuals would have you ever consider,” Professor Kellaher mentioned.

“The findings affirm that rising drone expertise could make a priceless contribution to the ecological info required to make sure the long-term sustainability of seashore ecosystems.”

Sharks, lengthy villainised in fashionable media, have been going through an onslaught from people for a number of a long time. Nature journal Marine Journal means that as many as 100 million sharks are killed by people yearly (or 11,400 sharks per hour). Nearly all of them are killed by fishermen who promote their fins to make shark fin soup, a preferred dish in components of Asia. Sharks, by the best way, solely kill about 10 people worldwide yearly.

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